We all know the feeling of sweating when we play sports or it is very hot outside. We also know how unpleasant it can be. But there is one thing about sweat that can be even more unpleasant.
What is hyperhidrosis?
In hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands of your body act with increased activity. This overactivity makes you sweat a lot, sometimes in places where other people wouldn’t.
Therefore, for many people with hyperhidrosis, controlling the symptoms can be a constant challenge that interferes with a normal lifestyle.
What can cause hyperhidrosis?
Sweating is the way your body cools down when it gets too hot (when you exercise, are sick, or are really nervous). Then the nerves tell the sweat glands to start working. In hyperhidrosis, some sweat glands work overtime for no apparent reason, producing sweat you don’t need.
Hyperhidrosis is usually the result of:
– Certain odors and foods, including citric acid, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter and spices;
– Emotional stress, especially anxiety;
– Spinal cord injury.
Generalized or secondary hyperhidrosis may be the result of:
– Dysautonomy (autonomic dysfunction);
– Heat, moisture and exercise;
– Infections, such as tuberculosis;
– Malignant diseases, such as Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymphatic system);
– Metabolic diseases and disorders, including hyperthyroidism, diabetes, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), pheochromocytoma (benign tumor of the adrenal glands), gout, and pituitary disease;
– Severe psychological stress;
– Some prescription medicines, including some antidepressants (bupropion or Wellbutrin®) and insulins (Humulin® R);
With secondary hyperhidrosis, a medical condition or medication makes you sweat more than usual.
What happens when you have hyperhidrosis?
The symptoms of hyperhidrosis can vary greatly in their severity and impact on your life. You may have symptoms that are barely noticeable and have almost no effect on your daily routine. Or excessive sweating can be a daily challenge, a constant source of frustration and insecurity.
Hyperhidrosis affects people in different ways. Sweat can:
– To create wet spots under the arms or around the back;
– Wet your clothes so much that you have to change to feel comfortable;
– To form drops on your forehead and cheeks;
Excessive sweating can also lead to:
– Itching and inflammation when sweat irritates the affected area.
– Unpleasant body odor when bacteria on the skin mix with sweat particles.
– A combination of sweat, bacteria and chemicals (deodorants), leaving noticeable marks on clothes.
– Skin changes, such as paleness or other discoloration, cracks or wrinkles.
– Maceration (unusually soft or crumbling skin) of the feet.
Your symptoms may give you clues about the type of hyperhidrosis you have. Excessive sweating due to focal hyperhidrosis usually affects both sides of the body (both arms or legs). Focal hyperhidrosis does not cause night sweats and does not go away without treatment. People with generalized hyperhidrosis may sweat while sleeping.
Which parts of the body are affected by hyperhidrosis?
Generalized hyperhidrosis makes you sweat completely. Focal hyperhidrosis mainly affects:
– Lower body;
– Face, including cheeks and forehead;
– Lower back;
– The genitals.
How is the condition treated?
To deal with the problem or at least reduce its impact on your life, you should consult a professional dermatologist. He will ask you questions about your condition to determine its severity and will recommend the best treatment, which can be:
– Lifestyle changes;
– Taking medication;
If you suffer from hyperhidrosis and want to change this, do not hesitate to make an appointment with us.